The Overall Experience

7.4.10 - Alpharetta, GA (Wendy Rogell)

The perfect Phish show experience is a combination of music, space, sound, and people. While any combination of these can produce the show of one’s life, the more ingredients that are present on any given night enhances he experiential quality of that show. In venues like Merriweather and Jones Beach, one must sacrifice everything for a small sliver of dance space, while at some GA shows, people can situate themselves  in any spot they desire. While the music makes up the vast majority of any show experience, these other intangibles can make or break an absolute throwdown. During Leg I, the following five venues combined the most of these facets, providing the highest quality show experiences of tour.


1. Hershey Park Stadium, Hershey, PA – 6.13

Hersheypark Stadium (M.Ladd)

With a revamped sound system and a rubberized cover for the field, this intimate stadium that once drew the scorn of fans has been reborn as the ultimate Phish venue. With a total GA policy, large groups of friends congregated in prime real estate to rage the show together. With no barriers to space, spontaneous dance pits emerged all over the field as Mike’s larger-than-life bass lines cut the air like thunder. With easy access to wherever one had to go, Hershey Park takes home the award for The Best Venue of Leg I. Phish responded to the positive vibrations with a greatest-hits dance party in a liquid second set


2. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Alpharetta, GA – 7.3 &4

7.4.10 (W.Rogell)

A massive GA dance floor sprawled out in front of the stage for the tour’s final weekend. Completely flat concrete made dancing desirable, while a wristband policy kept, at least, the most timid fans from getting down to the floor. One section of seating provided direct sight lines to the stage before a small lawn dotted the back. The copious dance space and free-for-all floor more than made up for somewhat compromised sound that resulted from the super-high roof, designed for air circulation. Nonetheless, I’d be happy to see a return to Alpharetta scheduled next summer.


3. nTelos Pavilion, Portsmouth,VA – 6.15

nTelos - 6.15 (ctankcycle)

With a complete GA policy like its next-door neighbor, Hampton Coliseum, nTelos Pavilion was the smallest venue of tour with a capacity of only 6,500. And you couldn’t give tickets away. The GA policy caused the seat-less floor to grow over-crowed by setbreak, pushing many fans into the seats. But with no one caring where you were at anytime, this venue on the water provided a most enjoyable experience and a unique setting for Phish. The undersized tented pavilion felt crowded, though the lawn was sparsely populated. A random stop to say the least, a great time was had by all.


4. Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ – 6.24 & 25

6.24.10 (J.Thomas)

Sure, the “Susquehanna Bank Center,” as its been called the for the past few years, is part of the cookie-cutter amphitheatre series, but it is one of the best. Boasting ample nooks of space and a notably lax security force, one can pretty much wind up wherever he wants in Camden and it’s gonna’ sound great. A far less regulated scene than most east coast sheds, everyone finds space to blow it up in one of Phish’s most eventful east-coast stops.


5. CMAC Pavilion. Canadaigua, NY – 6.29

This undersized and uniquely designed amphitheatre got a face-lift since Phish’s last visit in 1995. With an up-close and personal pavilion that placed a lot of fans close to the stage, security remained notably non chalant. VIP boxes turned into mini GA dance clubs, and the stairs and aisles were fair game for ballistic raging. The sound was loud and clear inside, though I can’t speak for the lawn. All in all, the way this venue integrated into the surrounding natural landscape made it one of the most enjoyable stops of tour.


Jam of the Day:

Split Open and Melt” 6.25 I

A first-set walk on the wild side in Camden.




6.12.2010 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH < Torrent

6.12.2010 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH < Megaupload

Official Blossom Poster

One of the dark-horse shows of tour, Blossom offered a strong sequence to open the second set, including one of the jams of tour in “Number Line.” The first set featured, perhaps, the finest “Mike’s Groove” of the summer.

I: Look Out Cleveland*, Ocelot, Water in the Sky, Stash, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, Sample in a Jar, Time Turns Elastic, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

II: Rock and Roll > Harry Hood, Backwards Down the Number Line > Twenty Years Later, Instant Karma!**, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Waste, Character Zero

E: The Squirming Coil

*debut, The Band, **debut, John Lennon

Source: Schoeps mk4v> KCY> Sonosax SX-M2/LS> SD 744t (@24bit/96kHz)

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648 Responses to “The Overall Experience”

  1. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    all this hip hop talk has me thinking about Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

    the film has it’s flaws, but I liked it. plus the caricatures of italian mobsters have some funny lines.

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    you know, like this

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Is it wrong to love a Bobby song combo so much?”

    I hope not. it’s pretty much the story of my life as a young fella.

  4. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    Love ghost dog

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @halden, yes indeed i am

  6. c0wfunk Says:

    I didn’t read back all the pages but I’m hoping the roots “things fall apart” got some love round here. Possibly my favorite hip hop album of all time? Fear of a black planet is up there too.

  7. c0wfunk Says:

    got me into this 8/22/93 now – mr c were you at these shows? One of my fav runs of the vince era

  8. Halden Says:


    So which are you?

  9. Luther Justice Says:

    I went to my first Public Enemy show during their tour for Fear of a Black Planet. Changed this caucasian guy’s perspective on the world.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Sometimes, I wish the Christian/Old Testament element would leave the folk scene. (And maybe it has for the most part, Im really not versed enough in contemporary folk to know)”

    ha, yeah, those Pickathon bands are hardly oldschool Xtian stuff at all. They’re mostly mid 20s hipsters who 5 years ago were listening to nothing but Animal Collective and Godspeed You! Black Emperor


    @gd sez: “And silly…do what AW does and find yourself a rare early 90s JGB version of “tough mama”. ”


  11. YborCity Says:

    Anyone interested in Giants/Dodgers tickets?

    connordjohnson at gmail dot com

  12. Halden Says:

    I saw Public Enemy on the Fear tour as well. It was in a tiny Nortern Ontario Town. Saw Flavor eating a whopper pre-show just up the street from the venue.

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    Ghost Dog: kind of a silly movie, amazing soundtrack. love the RZA.

    Public Enemy turned me from a rap skeptic to a fan. Only got to see them once. Mindblowing to say the least!

    @c0w”got me into this 8/22/93 now – mr c were you at these shows? One of my fav runs of the vince era”

    my last Autzen shows, and the last shows I really loved, though they had a few warts. Great memories!

  14. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @halden, i’m the kid on the far left with the electric guitar

  15. joe Says:

    speaking of political/folk music scene. maybe some folky should remake this one: I think they used to call them ‘topical’ songs or something like that.

    by the way, I’m claiming that ‘invented’ the ironic accoustic guitar rap song thing in about 1997 with my cover combo of leaving on a jet plane>fuck the police (still to the tune of leaving on a jet plane)

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    Ghostdog soundtrack is one of my fav hip hop albums ever, left it off the list like a jerk. Favorite part about it for me (other than that it bangs like a muthafuka) is that my wife turned me on to it. Love that woman.

  17. Luther Justice Says:

    I was at those Autzen 93 shows. Didn’t they simulcast them on FM radio? I seem to remember people who didn’t go into the show hanging by their cars with their radios cranked. Or I could have halucinated it all. Sometimes those shows seem like they were a dream.

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “accoustic guitar rap song thing in about 1997”

    outkast’s rosa parks??

  19. joe Says:

    dancing…and by no means am I trying to be critical but it looks like you are the lone phish fan in a band of people who like the Killers.

  20. SillyWilly Says:

    @Mr. C

    thanks for that Tough Mama.

    that was pretty cool.

    Tough Mama was mentioned, then Mr. C pops in with it in a mediafire file.

    I love this place!

  21. joe Says:

    ironic covers done on guitar though fool

  22. voopa Says:

    ybor, I would be if I wasn’t saving cash for miracle Greeks….


  23. joe Says:

    slighty before those dudes did the roof is on fire.

  24. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    hahaha joe, you’re right about the first part, don’t know about them liking the killers though… and haha you can’t tell but that is my miami phish t-shirt i am wearing

  25. voopa Says:


    The cassettes I had of those shows were FM sourced, so yeah.

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